Intro to the meat question.
I had a long introduction written and then I deleted it. I'm not going to characterize the opposing team who argues that meat is harmful. I'll just let it go. Meat is good. Avoiding meat and animal products is a difficult path.
At the risk of creating controversy, I'll just talk about the importance of complete protein. Here goes.
Blunder: Daily protein is only meant for growing children and athletic adults.
Truth: People of all ages require significant amounts of protein. The popular press which promotes a reduction in animal protein or relying on plant protein is misguided.
The RDA recommendations for protein is a standard that reflects the absolute minimum to prevent severe symptoms. But it is shocking to realize among women over 65, 40% do not even meet this minimum standard!
40% of all women over the age of 65 do not meet the RDA recommendations of protein to prevent serious symptoms.
Quality of life and health significantly improves when protein intake increases to appropriate levels.
According to Dr. Don Layman, PhD researcher with over 100 peer reviewed published studies, says if you keep your muscles healthy with protein and exercise, you have a good shot at avoiding obesity, diabetes, cancer, and other serious dysfunctional diseases especially those related to aging.
Fractures are common in the elderly who do not eat adequate protein. Statistics tell us that of the 300,000 hip fractures in the US each year, there is a 30% increase in dying within a year. Protein intake affects the fragility of bones, healing from surgery, and recuperation with physical therapy.
Blunder: Protein From Plants Provide Adequate Protein.
Truth: Many Plants Seem To Provide Protein But The Actual Amount Delivered To The Cells Is Questionable.
For example, gluten which is high in protein is one of the most difficult substances for the human body to digest. Since it cannot be broken down in the stomach, it passes through to the small intestine intact. It then creates micro damage to the lining of the gut and the damage accumulates.
Pea protein is not complete since it does not contain methionine which is required to repair and rebuild blood vessels as they wear.
To find a nutritious vegetarian protein powder supplement, search for those containing whey protein from dairy. In general, vegetarians can also rely on eggs and dairy products. And it is also important to supplement with added leucine which allows the proteins eaten to restore muscle tissue.
Blunder: A vegan or vegetarian diet will prevent weight gain.
Truth: Ironically, weight gain can be a symptom of inadequate protein intake.
Complete protein and animal fats will contribute to weight loss by supplying the body, in particular the mitochondria, the materials to operate comfortably and once acclimated, cravings for less optimal foods are reduced.
And "what else?"
Naturally resisting infection relies on processes within the body that rely on protein. For individuals with less than optimum protein in the diet, higher incidences of colds and flus, as well as other infectious diseases are seen.
Bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia all rely on protein to strengthen your structure.
Enzymes and hormones are composed with a foundation of protein.
Red blood cells that carry oxygen to our cells are composed of proteins and "bioavailable" iron only found in animal meat.
Low protein is common in emotional disorders including depression.
Hair loss, brittle nails, cold extremities are often associated with low protein intake.
Ok, so how much do we need?
Research shows women of all ages, particularly women over 50, require about 120 gm of protein a day. Typically men require about 160 gm.
Research shows women of all ages, particularly women over 50, require about 120 gm of protein a day, which equates to ½ pound of meat, fish, or poultry), three times a day.
Other complete protein to include in your diet are eggs (3 eggs = 20 gm protein) and cheese (1 oz = 8 gms).
[Charts are included in the Power of Protein PDF]
Also of note: Since muscle maintenance is a priority for the health of the over 50 crowd, it is important to break the overnight fast (called breakfast) with substantial amount of protein. This stops the liver from breaking down muscle tissue to maintain cellular functions.
So eating a protein rich breakfast is critical for preventing muscle loss and wasting as we age.
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I hope this post and the PDF answer some questions about animal protein (and I’m not talking about mealy bugs). Please ask your questions and I’m interested to know what topics intrigue you when it comes to healthy outlooks. I provided a comment section is below so I hope you let me know.
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